HTML Help Builder
Create HTML Files option
Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. Create HTML Files option
  Joel Leach
  All
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 12:30pm

We are in the process of upgrading to a new version of Stonefield Query. It automatically generates documentation, and we use HTML Help Builder to generate the CHM file. To support the new version of Stonefield Query, we upgraded to Help Builder 5.x. We use the documentation generated by Stonefield Query, except for a couple of pages. In the past, I have copied in those two custom HTML files, then I unchecked the "Create HTML Files" option on the Build Output screen. In the new version, that option is disabled, so I am unable to uncheck it. Is there something I need to do to get it back? It is rebuilding the HTML files and overwriting my custom files. As a workaround, I compiled the project in HTML Help Workshop, so I'm not dead in the water. Just wondering if there is a way to get the option back, or if I need to take a different approach.

Thanks,

Joel

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Joel Leach
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 01:14pm

Maybe grab the latest version (released yesterday). There was a brief bug that was fixed with an intermediate build.

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Joel Leach
  Rick Strahl
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 01:18pm

Rick,

I just downloaded and installed it today. I am running version 5.17.0, and Check for Updates says I am on the latest version. Should I manually download and install again?

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Joel Leach
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 02:10pm

No 5.17 is the latest.

What do you see exactly? Can you post a screen shot?

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Joel Leach
  Rick Strahl
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 02:30pm

Here's a screenshot showing the option disabled:

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Joel Leach
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 04:54pm

That's correct. If you chose the first option you are going to create HTML files and there's no way to turn that off. After all that's the choice you made there!

If you create the second option you can opt to not create the HTML files (it will but delete them when done).

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Joel Leach
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 04:59pm

Ok for the next update I changed the dialog to be clearer:

This should make it less confusing.

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Joel Leach
  Apr 18, 2019 @ 05:06pm

I guess I'm not really sure what you are trying to accomplish. The checkbox just determined whether the HTML files are left on disk or not. HTML files are always generated because that's what makes up the CHM content. The only difference is that if the thing was checked to not generate HTML files all the files were deleted leaving you with a clean project.

You can still do that after you've built your project by using Tools->Clean Project Directory which cleans out all the generated HTML files and just leaves your project files. That's essentially what that old switch used to after the project was built.

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Joel Leach
  Rick Strahl
  Apr 19, 2019 @ 06:28am

Sorry, I forgot to choose CHM in that screenshot. The option remains disabled when I make the selection:

From the Help file:

This option specifies whether the HTML files get generated from your project. It's useful to turn this option off if you need to only generate a CHM file or if you've changed some project options like icons that don't affect the HTML output.

In version 4.x, it appears unchecking the box would actually prevent the HTML files from being generated. They were previously generated and on disk. Unchecking it would just package up the HTML files already on disk into a CHM file. In this case, the HTML files are generated by Stonefield Query, but Doug also creates a Help Builder file. Rather than manually editing pages for each release, I would just copy in some existing HTML pages I customized, then uncheck the box when building the CHM.

In any case, no need to go to a lot of effort to support old or unintended behavior. I can take a different approach. I just wondered if I had done something wrong during the setup.

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Joel Leach
  Apr 19, 2019 @ 01:50pm

Funny but I wasn't actually aware that the old behavior did that. I can't imagine why I would have done that except perhaps to speed up output generation. There are differences to how HTML is generated in the preview vs. the final output so under normal circumstances you'd almost always want to re-generate the help file no matter what.

Part of the reason for the change is that very few people actually generate CHM files anymore. Most people generate Web content, so the changes are to make the default choice and make it more obvious what needs to happen.

I think in your case you probably would want to use Doug's help file and merge in your custom topics. You can add a custom field and track your custom entries so you can more easily merge them in the future.

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Doug Hennig
  Joel Leach
  Apr 28, 2019 @ 02:53pm

Hi Joel.

The way we handle this in our custom versions is to generate the help project then overwrite/edit certain topics with custom content, then build the CHM/HTML files.

Doug

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Rick Strahl
  Doug Hennig
  Apr 28, 2019 @ 06:59pm

Hey Doug,

I think you mentioned that you are shipping the CHM file, right? In that case it would make sense to modify the actual topics/whole file rather than the HTML output.

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Create HTML Files option
  Joel Leach
  Doug Hennig
  May 2, 2019 @ 12:58pm

Rick & Doug,

I followed your suggestions to update the topics in Help Builder rather than copying in custom HTML files. I wrote a program to do it, so now it's even more automated than before. 😃 Thanks for the help.

Joel

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